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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few months ago I ordered the new Aragorn head and the 'Laura' set and body from Asmus. This was no big deal, I paid the deposit and then the full invoice , which unfortunately came after I had just had my car serviced.

Now I have to go to the Parcelforce depot to pick it up Partly because I cant wait to get it, I have a week break and most importantly I am sure as hell not letting them deliver it and run the risk of my crazy drunk neighbour having it in her flat. She has already this week smashed one of her windows insulted everyone in the neighbourhood and screamed the place down.

What bugs the hell out of me however Is when I pick this parcel up 'free shipping' I shall have to pay another £25 on top of the cost of the figure 'customs charges' or Vat.

Now I wouldn't mind if I could purchase the equivalent in the UK or Europe and was trying to 'cheat' the system by going outside the 'closed' market but I can't get these products in the UK or Europe or if I can which is rare there is a significant delay (thinking of the few European stores which by the way I have always had good service from)

I just think it is a rip off to literally pay another 25% - 50% on top just to buy an item I am rapidly getting back to the state we were in over here when as kids we used to look at the toys and games advertised in US comics and thinking how lucky they were to be able to get such things that would never turn up in our stores over here.

So much for the Internet and Global shopping!!

(oh heck I've 2 Christmas presents on order sigh!)
 

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Yeah, it hurts alot. I stopped ordering from Sideshow directly, because I would get hit with a minimum $50 customs fee Every. Single. Time.
BigBadToyStore, too.

andrew is right; unfortunately, buying from Asia is the best way to go.
 

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Yup, Asia is the best answer. I have only ordered from SSC a couple of times for that exact reason but I'm currently terrified of import tax, shipping and handling fees for my HT Hulkbuster as I ordered it from SSC because they have a payment plan that doesn't have interest or extra charges and I couldn't afford to pay for that guy in one go! :urp Of course the down side will be the above mentioned. Bad luck about the neighbour! If it gets out of hand the cops can give her a warning which might make her think think twice about what she does on her next drunken tantrum.
 

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Asmus is IN Asia, so you would think you wouldn’t get hit with customs; I don’t know if it has something to do with declared value by the shipper or not...
 

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I thought the same thing as Stryker2011. I think it might have to do with how the seller/shipper declares the value. Perhaps the Asian stores/eBay (etc) sellers cut some corners in favor of the customer, that US businesses are afraid to do. In fact I seem to vaguely remember some notices in eBay that the item would be described as such-and-such on the customs form, and that seemed to me to imply that they were making an effort to diminish any potential complications or additional costs for the buyer. At the same time, they do have disclaimers that the buyer is responsible for any customs duty levied on the item in the country of destination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Having just got back from a 30 mile round trip

no. of Items 3 'Adult Collectable'
Value $75 US

It appears that the charges are as follows:

Import Duty = 0.00
Excise Duty = 0.00
VAT = 14.45
Parcel Force Handling Fee = 11.25

Total £25.70

I think its the Handling Fee that Galls me the most , so I end up paying them for paying the vat on a parcel which they wont deliver unless I pay the charges which I picked up grr!

Oh and with regard to the neighbour thanks for the advice Shovl but I have had this nonsense for 9 years the police reports to my knowledge cover 27 pages and she has been warned and locked up for 3 weeks lately.

I will try to work out a review of 'Laura' later

Thanks for listening folks
 

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Thanks for listening folks
--

If you cannot rant among fellow 1:6 collectors, then who can you rant too?

Excuse me. A cabaret performer I know is ranting about a new show outfit and asked me for an opinion. I don't see what the problem is.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Very Cute DFC but I'm not sure how hold ups would work with cabaret mine usually fall down with time ....... Oh I see that's the effect she was after (Nora Batty look, UK readers know what i mean!)
 

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So much for sticking to the topic.....again.....:knock

There, that's MY rant.....:nanana
 

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I don't know why people seem to think there are no custom charges for items from Asia? I have had several over the years. The USA seems to be the place that most regularly attracts the customs charge (for me at least) and that, coupled with the huge shipping charges, is why I don't order anything from them that I can get elsewhere.

I agree about the ridiculous "fee" for taking money from us to pay to the government. Unfortunately HMCR are a law unto themselves and what a commercial company would not be allowed to do, they do as a matter of course. So we have to pay the fee to a company which HMRC contracts to do their work for them! We are, in effect, paying ransom on something we have already paid to have shipped to us!
 

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I don't know why people seem to think there are no custom charges for items from Asia? I have had several over the years. The USA seems to be the place that most regularly attracts the customs charge (for me at least) and that, coupled with the huge shipping charges, is why I don't order anything from them that I can get elsewhere.

I agree about the ridiculous "fee" for taking money from us to pay to the government. Unfortunately HMCR are a law unto themselves and what a commercial company would not be allowed to do, they do as a matter of course. So we have to pay the fee to a company which HMRC contracts to do their work for them! We are, in effect, paying ransom on something we have already paid to have shipped to us!
It is dependent on the declared value, whether the item is marked as a gift or merchandise (different VAT exemption limits) and how busy processing is at any given time and what backlogs look like. Sometimes things make it through without assessment regardless of what is written. Country of mailing has no bearing (other than declared country of origin for goods at that sets applicable duty rates where it would apply), that is largely an internet myth. Where it comes into play is the mailing service type, with irregular small packet/airmail class often passing through unassessed as much of it is manual sort and gets backed up. Handling fees (for brokering the shipment) are pretty standard across the world, with variation in what the exemption limits are. 11.75 GBP is fairly reasonable relative to what some of the couriers charge at times for brokering a shipment but can be a pain point for lower value shipments. In general many countries/regions are extremely protectionist and have low values for exemptions. That is where consumers should really be directing their anger at as it gives manufacturers a free pass to implement regional pricing strategies that see consumers paying more for goods than they should be.

It should also be mentioned that changes are coming in 2018 with mailing services. There is going to be a concerted effort focusing on the small packet/airmail services as the UPU are revising shipping services with a clear separation between package types that contain documents and package types that contain goods. This is part of a broader security crackdown, but where it is relevant is that it will mean more scrutiny on goods marked as merchandise. We've already seen the beginnings of this here as the increase security screening has meant up to a 20-30 delay on processing of anything non-expedited and more packages being assessed for duty/taxes. This will largely effect the small packet/airmail/registered mail classes rather than traditional parcel classes. In general you'll see more small packet/airmail/registered assessed for duty/taxes.
 

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As for a customs problems free option from the USA to the UK I've always found Toy Anxiety excellent in this regard, just remind them in the notes section of the checkout system.
 

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Based on conversations as of I had with some vendors (based in the US and elsewhere) over the past few months, it is getting problematic to ship to certain countries.

The countries that come up frequently is Brazil (and any country in South America in general), Canada, Italy, Russia, and the UK.

Why those particular countries? It's due to customs, tracking issues, and customers who take advantage of vendors by taking advantage of shipping/tracking weaknesses in those countries.

When a 1:6 vendor ships to anywhere and an item is damaged/lost, the vendors makes zero profit and loses money.

You have international customers who basically demand/expect the cheapest shipping method possible and balk at paying for proper and reasonable shipping with insurance and tracking due to "customs" and demand/expect vendors to be liable for damage/loss and if the collectors/customers pay by PayPal, then they'll go through PayPal to get a refund as well (i.e. item never arrived/lost, item arrived damaged, etc.).

The sad reality is that there some collectors/customers who are taking advantage of 1:6 vendors on a regular basis by claiming lost packages, damaged items, etc. from honest and reliable vendors with frequency and some vendors are maintaining black lists of such collectors/customers to point where they will not do business/want business from them anymore.

It's a $%^&ty aspect of the 1:6 business side that rarely/seldom gets discussed let alone acknowledged.

Personally speaking, I never ship outside the US unless the receiver pays fully for proper insurance and shipping with tracking and customs.
 

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Based on conversations as of I had with some vendors (based in the US and elsewhere) over the past few months, it is getting problematic to ship to certain countries.

The countries that come up frequently is Brazil (and any country in South America in general), Canada, Italy, Russia, and the UK.

Why those particular countries? It's due to customs, tracking issues, and customers who take advantage of vendors by taking advantage of shipping/tracking weaknesses in those countries.

When a 1:6 vendor ships to anywhere and an item is damaged/lost, the vendors makes zero profit and loses money.
It is only really problematic if you ship by registered mail or basic small packet/airmail. Registered mail tracking is basically dead/dying at this point. The US and Canada have killed tracking for it and the same will be occurring with other countries. It's being phased out for goods (along with traditional small packet/airmail) for the reasons I mention, but also because it is not sustainable as a service for goods due to the reciprocal rates the sending post office pays the destination post office to deliver. They get delivered at a loss for the destination postal services and are generally not well though of as the irregular shapes and sizes you get with bubble mailers mean more manual sorting which adds yet more cost. It's become enough of an issue that while some postal services are not refusing to deliver it, they are letting it sit and pile up and it gets processed when it gets processed. A message was purposefully being sent.

This will have an impact on countries like Hong Kong and other parts of asia that have relied upon lower cost options, but e-packet is an option many have been switching to. I'm not sure how widespread that is across asia (services often get rebranded by the domestic postal services), but there will be a new service that gets phased in as well. It remains to be seen where that will sit price point wise where it overlaps with e-packet. The dual pressures of increased need for screening/security along with the losses being incurred have finally resulted in changes that have been talked about for the last few years now. Cheap mail will be for documents, and parcels will have to be paid at higher rates. For those in North America, we're already using the UPU's higher priced parcel services (Post Expres which gets rebranded as tracked packet (CA) and first class international package (US)), but there will another round of cost hikes next year and it remains to see if the new UPU service will be offered. E-packet for example is not readily accessible in North America as it requires packages to be sent in bulk to third party processors. Buyers and sellers alike who haven't prepared for this are going to need to make adjustments. Sadly for the reasons DFC notes, tracking is a necessity for sellers. I would have lost over $400 USD in the last month due to fraudulent chargebacks if it was not for tracking.
 

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It's a $%^&ty aspect of the 1:6 business side that rarely/seldom gets discussed let alone acknowledged.

Personally speaking, I never ship outside the US unless the receiver pays fully for proper insurance and shipping with tracking and customs.
Seems to me that you have solved your own gripe DFC. If US vendors want this $%^&ty aspect to cease all they have to do is follow your lead and not offer untracked, uninsured delivery services.

For my part when I order from anywhere outside the EU (I'm in the UK) then I factor in customs charges and handling fees as part of the buying cost, if I don't get charged then its a bonus, but if I am legally liable for a duty charge on an item I import then I just accept that it is part of the price of the item. I always use tracked shipping where it is available, and will think twice about buying from a vendor who does not offer it.

Buying cheap from another country, is not always buying cheap from another country. Caveat Emptor.
 

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Yeah, you do have to be careful with customs fees. When buying from the US, Canada or Japan I've been hit. China not so much. Once I find a seller where I don't get hit, I tend to stick with them. For 1/6 stuff like bodies or figures, I would always go to OneSixthKit, great service and never been stung once. It's all about what you declare on the shipping labels.

CHEERS!
 

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Seems to me that you have solved your own gripe DFC. If US vendors want this $%^&ty aspect to cease all they have to do is follow your lead and not offer untracked, uninsured delivery services.

For my part when I order from anywhere outside the EU (I'm in the UK) then I factor in customs charges and handling fees as part of the buying cost, if I don't get charged then its a bonus, but if I am legally liable for a duty charge on an item I import then I just accept that it is part of the price of the item. I always use tracked shipping where it is available, and will think twice about buying from a vendor who does not offer it.

Buying cheap from another country, is not always buying cheap from another country. Caveat Emptor.
--

No disrespect to you (or others implied or intended), but there are some (on the receiving side) who don't have the same mindset you do.

When I first started selling CY GIRL figures online back in the day, a Canadian member of an online 1:6 discussion group I was active in wanted to buy one or more; however, he very adamant that he did not expect to pay more for shipping to Canada and expected me to eat any loss. The member in question is not a member here. Last I recollect, he's an admin at a WW II online 1:6 discussion group. He was a <CENSORED>.
 

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Seems to me that you have solved your own gripe DFC. If US vendors want this $%^&ty aspect to cease all they have to do is follow your lead and not offer untracked, uninsured delivery services.
For the most part it's already eliminated since USPS now includes tracking with first class to many countries (I think they are up to 30+ now) and there are quite a few options for insurance. You still get some people trying to fudge the system and send stuff via first class letter, but that is pretty rare. Even then you'll get scammers trying to pull things with packages that have tracking. The countries DFC are referring to are ones where there are typically long delays with customs clearance which is more of an issue with their customs than it is the method of shipping. Canada is sort of an oddball in that they are only delaying certain classes of mail and it is a dual customs and Canada Post issue rather than solely customs. The current delay for Canadian processing, at least on the west coast is 20 days from time of release from customs plus applicable shipping time to arrive domestically to the customer. When it takes 45-60 days to send/clear/arrive you are going to get plenty of buyers opening chargeback cases regardless of tracking.

Never had an issue with lengthy delays to the UK myself. There are better options for shippers, but they are going to have to change their business models as you note, especially in light of next year's changes.
 
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